Bringing his big-hitting prowess to the fore, Deepak Hooda lifted a floundering Kings XI Punjab to 153 for six with a counterattacking 30-ball 62 against Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Hooda smashed four sixes and three fours during his entertaining stay in the middle.
Thanks to Hooda, KXIP managed 40 runs in the last three overs after CSK, opting to field, choked their middle-order for runs.
Hooda picked his spots cleverly and also ran well between the wickets on a day when his more accomplished batting colleagues failed to capitalise on their starts.
Pacer Lungi Ngidi picked up three for 39 for CSK.
Returning to the side after an injury-forced break, Mayank Agarwal got KXIP off to a breezy start, collecting two boundaries off Deepak Chahar's first over.
In-form skipper K.L. Rahul got into the act with the day's first six, over the third man region before scoring two boundaries off Shardul Thakur.
In the next over, Agarwal welcomed Ngidi by driving him to the long-off boundary, but the South African had his revenge the next ball as the opener edged the ball into the middle stump.
Three tight over followed during which Ngidi bowled Rahul with a well-disguised full slower ball at off stump.
After a brisk start by KXIP, the CSK bowling attack did extremely well to strangle the strong opposition batting that comprised the likes of Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran in the middle-order.
From 44 for no loss in five overs, KXIP were struggling at 65 for two at the end of the 10th over.
Shardul made life more difficult for Punjab as Pooran's thin inside edge was taken by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
In the penultimate ball of the 12th over, leg-spinner Imran Tahir dealt a body blow to KXIP as he had Gayle trapped in front of the wicket. The big-hitting Jamaican went for a review but the ball pitched in line was clearly going to hit the stumps.
KXIP, in between, enjoyed a couple of good overs but the CSK maintained their stranglehold.
Hooda then scored some useful runs down the order, including smashing Ngidi for two sixes, as KXIP ended the innings on a blazing note.